Monthly Archives: March 2015

What Goodell Told about Borland’s Decision and Its Impact

In a wide-ranging interview, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was asked by’s Peter King what he thought of Chris Borland’s decision to retire early because of the concussion issue.and the impact it might have on “the future of football?”

“This isn’t something that came up yesterday for us,” the commissioner said. “We’ve been working on the safety of our game throughout our history—with an incredible focus on it in my personal time as commissioner … We’ve seen a reduction of concussions by 25 percent just last year. That’s continuing a three-year trend on that issue. We saw a lot of those techniques in the reduction of those penalties, and it hasn’t impacted the quality of the game. You’d have to admit that the quality of the game is outstanding. There was a lot of criticism several years ago that we were changing the game. We are changing the game, for the better. The game has never been better or safer. And I think that the statistics bear that out.

“We also are very focused on making sure that we provide the best medical care. I think you’ve seen recently that we hired Betsy Nabel. For the first time ever, we have a chief medical advisor, and she’s someone who I think will bring a great deal of experience, independence and thought to all the work that we’re doing to make sure that our players get the absolute best medical care …

“I go back to something else that I think is very important—NFL players are living longer than the average American male. And quite a bit—two to three years on average, according to the Niosh study. … And we’re also seeing very positive results in youth football and high school football. High school football went up this year in terms of participation, despite all of the coverage.”

“What we want are facts to be out there. … When they hear the facts, they’ll realize that the game has an awful lot to offer. While there’s risk of injury, there’s risk in any physical activity. The way the game is being taught is making it a safer game and a better game.”

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Are Hockey Helmets Unsafe? has reported recently that a new study has shown that more than a quarter of all hockey helmets worn by players, from the NHL to youth leagues, are not recommended because of their inability to reduce concussion risk.

Researchers at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, or Virginia Tech, tested 32 helmets. Nine, reportedly, failed to earn a single star on a five-star scale and were classified as “not recommended.” Just one helmet, made by Warrior Sports, received three stars. The rest received one or two stars.

“In general, they’re low performers,” Stefan Duma, head of Virginia Tech’s department of biomedical engineering and mechanics, told

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NFL Adopts Real-Time Eye on the Sky for Potential Concussions

At its annual meeting Tuesday, the NFL instituted a measure whereby an independent official in the booth will be vested with the authority to call a medical timeout if a player appears woozy and in need of evaluation under the NFL’s concussion protocol.

Rich McKay, a co-chairman of the competition committee, told ESPN earlier this week that “the Edelman situation was a play we looked at and it was part of the issue. There were a couple of other plays that go back a couple of years that we looked at and really it came a little bit from the health and safety committee just saying, ‘We got the ATC spotters, they’ve got a really good vantage point, they’ve got technology in their booth, they’re communicating pretty well with our trainers and doctors and we’ve got a pretty good rhythm going there, why would we miss a player where a player shouldn’t come out?’

“And maybe this becomes the fail-safe. So that was the genesis of it. We do not expect this to be a rule that gets used a lot. We expect it to be a fail-safe when people just don’t see this player and the distress the player may have had, the ATC spotter does and stops the game.”

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